'Prepare for boom' says Hilton boss

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'Prepare for boom' says Hilton boss
« on: May 07, 2007, 07:27:10 »
Population changes and an oversupply of aircraft will fuel a travel boom in coming decades, it has been predicted.

This year's Pow Wow International keynote speaker, Hilton Hotels Corporation chief operating officer Matt Hart, said the growth will be largely thanks to global population reaching eight billion by 2030, the development of market-based economies and a steady flow of new aircraft into the market.

He added increasing use of the Internet is enabling consumers to find out more about tropical destinations - and as a result "hundreds of millions of people are going to be travelling globally".

He said: "We are in the early stages of a travel boom. In many parts of the world the population is ageing, becoming more affluent and more inclined to travel.

"All around the world, market-based economies are spurring development, connecting the needs for productivity with requirements for efficiency.

"With the all-out competition between Airbus and Boeing, there is an over-capacity of aircraft and a resulting explosion in discount carriers. People will have more accessibility to flights at affordable fares."

Hart said Hilton is already making plans to meet the growth with 75 new hotels planned for India and another 50 in China with more developments in the pipeline.

The new hotels are part of a development programme that will see 1,000 hotels added to its portfolio in North America in the next decade, along with a further 1,000 properties around the rest of the world.

He added: "Our plan is to aggressively roll out our very successful service-focused, mid-priced brands around the world - brands such as Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn - and our upscale Doubletree brand, mostly through converting existing properties."